Portuguese lutenist and tenor Ricardo Leitão Pedro is one of the few musicians today dedicated to the historical practice of ‘canto al liuto’, accompanying himself to different early plucked string instruments.

He took the lute at the age of eighteen inspired by a concert by Hespérion XXI and encouraged by his classical guitar teacher Pedro Fesch. A year later he was accepted at ESMAE (Porto, Portugal) for a bachelor degree in early music, during which he received an Erasmus scholarship to study at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et Danse de Lyon as one of the last students of Eugène Ferré.
He later moved to Switzerland to pursue studies at the reknowed Schola Cantorum Basiliensis where he completed degrees in lute with Crawford Young and Marc Lewon and singing with Dominique Vellard. Ricardo has also taken private lessons and attended masterclasses with such singers as Margreet Honig, Gerd Türk and Patrizia Bovi as well as lutenists Paul O’Dette, Hopkinson Smith, Eduardo Egüez and Rolf Lislevand.

A member of Concerto di Margherita and I Discordanti with whom he frequently performs throughout Europe, he is often invited to collaborate with different ensembles and orchestras both as a singer and a lutenist (Capella Sanctae Crucis, Coro Casa da Música, Orquestra XXI, Domus Artis, Troxalida, Agamémnon, La Boz Galana).

Always eager to explore other creative realms, Ricardo composed the music for the trapeze solo performance ‘Planisfério’ by Joana Martins premiered in 2015 at the FIS festival in Póvoa do Varzim (Portugal). In 2018 he was the selected musician by Rostislav Novak (Cirk La Putyka) for his research group at the contemporary circus festival Die Originale hosted at the Berliner Festspiele in Berlin. 

Continually invested in research along with his performative work, from 2020 Ricardo will be a PhD student at the Anton Bruckner University (Linz, Austria) with a thesis about the improvisatory practice of fifteenth-century lutenist Pietrobono Burzelli. He is also currently preparing an edition of the songs and lute pieces found in the ‘Thibault lute manuscript’ (F-Pn Rés. Vmd ms. 27) to be published by the label Terem-Music.

"Fantasticaria" is devoted to the music of Bellerofonte Castaldi for voice and theorbo and the first solo album of Ricardo, including compositions and improvisations by himself. It has been independently released in February 2020 and is now available in all platforms.

2020-2021 season. Not to be altered without permission.


© Martin Chiang


© Ricardo Leitão Pedro 2020